LESLEY LOKKO PDF

She is a regular juror at international competitions and symposia, and is a long-term contributor to BBC World. About The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture is deeply committed to creating a just, sustainable, and imaginative future for a rapidly urbanizing planet. Through innovative research and interdisciplinary collaboration, the degree programs in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, and Sustainability in the Urban Environment seek to educate a diverse student body to become engaged professionals, both reflecting and enriching the complex communities of local and global environments. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles.

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The student school offers a keen focus on "the urban environment as the most important generator of ideas" and offers professional undergraduate degrees in architecture and graduate degrees in architecture, urban landscape architecture, urban design, and sustainability in the urban environment. We caught up with Lokko as she prepares to move to America from South Africa—where she has been based for five years as the Director of the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg —to discuss, among other topics, her long road to architecture, expanding the definition of an "architect," and decolonizing design education.

As the only public school of architecture in New York City , our programs are shaped by the incredible diversity of our staff and students and a deeply-held and shared belief in the power of education to transform lives, communities, and societies.

What insights from your past professional experience are you hoping to integrate or adopt as the dean? In my previous role as Director of the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg, I learned very quickly that consensus has to be built, literally, step by painstaking step.

There are no shortcuts. Students who are interested in the world and its myriad, mysterious ways; students who take nothing for granted, including their own education; students who are interested in the design of a future practice, which means being open, curious, committed and imaginative. If those students—some of whom come from the poorest and most under-represented sections of society—could do it, I cannot wait to see what students at CCNY will do in the coming years.

What are the biggest challenges, academically and professionally, facing students today? The biggest challenge I have faced, particularly lately, has been to persuade students that those changes will happen. That the experience of architectural education will change the way they think, see, and act, and that the change is worth it.

City will be its own, unique school, defined not by the cost of its education but by the wealth of its imagination and inventiveness. How did this experience shape your perspective as an educator? Administrative competencies in South Africa are generally very low: the sheer effort it requires to get anything done is overwhelming.

But, on the other hand, it was one of the most rewarding periods of my life. To see students come into the program with little or no self-confidence in terms of how they understood architecture and their role within the discipline—and this was especially true of black students and students from lower income groups—and emerge two years later bursting with energy, ideas, self-esteem.

Team players are key. At all levels. You earned a PhD from the University of London in ; Can you share a bit about why you decided to go for this higher level of education? How did the experience shape your conception of what it means to be an architectural educator? Architecture was actually my third degree: I began my academic life studying Hebrew and Arabic, then switched to sociology and finally landed upon architecture.

However, I was a spectacularly bad undergraduate student. What is the current state of scholarly architectural writing, in your opinion, and how do you hope to impact this realm form your new position? Our internal language—they way we speak to, and about, architecture—tends to be convoluted, obscure, incoherent, and baffling. Yet our work—whether in buildings, drawings, films—is visceral, direct, experiential, explorative.

It just is. Here I have to confess to a particularly soft spot for narrative-as-a-form-of-exploration. Yes, there are always risks associated with the self-as-starting-point. From your perspective, what does it mean to decolonize architecture, and specifically, to decolonize architecture education?

However, a few days later, an Australian architect, Mark Raynard, posted a message on Instagram, which I continue to go back to.

Hand over the microphone. Sit back, relax and listen. The last part is the best part. Listen, because if you truly listen, then you quickly realise that you are not under attack but rather get to see a more beautiful, diverse, inclusive, and interesting future. It costs us nothing and it's going to be great. As always, we white men will only benefit from this much-needed, more equitable future. Not to cut-and-paste or mimic but to add, to explore, and augment what we already know.

Not simply to reproduce what we already know. Decolonization is a gift. We all benefit. Antonio is a Los Angeles-based writer, designer, and preservationist. He is the Managing Editor at Archinect. He completed the M. Arch I and Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site? Features News Virtual Events Competitions. Jobs Talent Finder Active Employers.

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About Advertising Contact Newsletters Privacy. Search Archinect. Image courtesy of CCNY. Similar articles on Archinect that may interest you Tagged deans list spotlight on nyc. University of Johannesburg. Antonio Pacheco Antonio is a Los Angeles-based writer, designer, and preservationist. NEW: Follow your favorite profiles, and see all their activity conveniently gathered in the new Activity Stream! Block this user.

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The City College of New York

The student school offers a keen focus on "the urban environment as the most important generator of ideas" and offers professional undergraduate degrees in architecture and graduate degrees in architecture, urban landscape architecture, urban design, and sustainability in the urban environment. We caught up with Lokko as she prepares to move to America from South Africa—where she has been based for five years as the Director of the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg —to discuss, among other topics, her long road to architecture, expanding the definition of an "architect," and decolonizing design education. As the only public school of architecture in New York City , our programs are shaped by the incredible diversity of our staff and students and a deeply-held and shared belief in the power of education to transform lives, communities, and societies. What insights from your past professional experience are you hoping to integrate or adopt as the dean? In my previous role as Director of the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg, I learned very quickly that consensus has to be built, literally, step by painstaking step. There are no shortcuts. Students who are interested in the world and its myriad, mysterious ways; students who take nothing for granted, including their own education; students who are interested in the design of a future practice, which means being open, curious, committed and imaginative.

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Lesley Lokko

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